Eric Garner, 43 years-of-age will be funeralized in Brooklyn, NY on Wednesday. Garner’s death has forced the NYPY to order the retraining of the entire force in their use of excessive force. Police Commissioner William Bratton announced today that the man in the video (Garner) appeared to be subdued using a chokehold which was banned by the department more than two decades ago. Officer Daniel Pantaleo as seen in the cell phone video using this banned maneuver has been relieved of his gun and his badge.
Bratton has order a complete investigation of the incident but the official police report released today made no mention of the chokehold. The Staten Island Medical Examiner’s office has not issued an official cause of death. Bratton stated to reporters on today that he is expecting the FBI to open their own full-blown civil rights investigation in Brooklyn to look into the case.
While New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to end the controversial “Stop and Frisk” policy of the Bloomberg administration, this incident clearly exhibits the tactics used by the NYPD when this policy is enforced on African-American males.
Bratton said today: "I personally don't think that race was a factor in the incident involved in this tragic death," Bratton said. "Certainly the issue of race is one that is first and foremost in this country in so many ways, it is something we cannot ignore."
He also said NYPD training going forward would include increased minority representation in the force as well as increased cultural sensitivity programs for officers so that policing is "consistent" in all ethnic and racial communities. Bratton said that he won't back down from his adherence to the so-called broken window theory of policing which aims to halt minor crimes such as fare evasion and unlicensed street vending to prevent more serious crimes.
The Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan is also investigating Garner's death and Bratton said that he expects Garner's family to file a civil suit in his death.
Bratton said that the incident indicated to him that "We need to do a lot more, a lot more, on the issue of training."
A team from the NYPD will travel to Los Angeles to study the program at the LAPD, which Bratton noted he used to command.